Sunday, January 27, 2013

Rock Grid

We used the Outdoor Hour Challenge: Rock Grid Study as the basis of some activities this last week. I love how she gives many options, pictures, helps, etc. I am finding the monthly newsletter is invaluable. I save it to my computer to use later, as the link expires at the end of each month. I pulled out a big box of rocks to help in the process . . .

While we didn't tackle all the activities on the grid, we were able to do several! The boys found a collection of rocks that looked like ovals and then rocks that looked like animals. I am very curious about the rock that looks like it has a snake or worm wriggling through it. The boys had stories about all the animal rocks!

oval rocks
"animal" rocks
We also stacked some rocks . . . I purposely chose some pretty flat pieces of rocks from our collection. We made it up to 12 on this run!

My son retrieved his own "rock" collection (read dollar store gems) for rock stacking. These were harder. He and I couldn't get past stacking 4 or 5 rocks like this. There is a local artist, Artist Grow, who shares pictures of his rock stacking on Facebook. We've seen several of these and some videos of a person actually doing rock balancing. As we put these together, there was an actual "feel" when the rocks came together and would stay. This is rock balancing eye candy. I like environmental art and Andy Goldsworthy, so this is right up my alley!

We painted rocks as well . . . my oldest doesn't like to get messy, but he did his one rock okay.

Picasso would have kept going, painting more and more rocks. These paint pens were handy!

We'd still like to grow some crystals--we even had a couple of kits, but didn't get it done. We did talk about science fair experiments we saw that involved crystals. Lakes and ponds are frozen right now, so no rock skipping. Come to think of it though, there was some stick skipping the other weekend when we visited a frozen pond. We actually did some geological musings while out that day as well when we found a huge split rock! 

We improvised finding a rock that will write on the sidewalk . . . school was cancelled due to the low temps and kids were sick so we used the back of a tile for our "sidewalk". This is the collection of rocks that made a mark. One day we'll make it to investigating hardness at a more sophisticated level.

We made some observations in our nature journals and broke out the colored pencils for coloring our rock illustrations. 


We looked in more depth at one of our thundereggs as well:

We used the bookmark from the rock grid for our rock collections!

My oldest had his own book of Rocks, Gems and Minerals from Christmas. He read the whole book and frequently went back to it as part of his interaction with rocks. It's a nice small size, has good basic information, and is appropriate for beginning explorations. I had many other reference books, but since it was HIS, he used it more!